AF003: The perfect sphereJuly 13th, 2012 | Posted by in Daily life...
I tend to love natural shape of things, especially when it comes to food; I have a tendency to like simplicity over those eccentrically elaborated desserts for instance.
But in the pastry world, there is another side of our job which is very precise and well measured. We all know that what impacts people first is the visual aspect of a dish; on mange avec les yeux as we say in French. In dessert making, there are three main visual attractions; it’s either a stunning home-style hearty dessert screaming to be eaten (my favourite); or a very intriguing presentation, making the mind ponder on what to expect; or the absolute asymmetrical perfection of aligned elegant shapes, measured and finished as pastries in an exceptionally clean and sharp way.
Technology and new material have helped moulds manufacturer such as the Italian company Pavoni, to come up with great shapes that would really help us, pastry chefs, to streamline our production with productive and innovative patisserie. One of their latest moulds is a perfect sphere which happens to be very interesting for creative minds.
The material can freeze at -40°C and be baked at more than 280°C!
Anyone remember the metal moulds we had many (many!) years ago? It was a nightmare to work with and today they decorate the walls of patisserie boutique very well! But nowadays, this new silicon material makes it really easy to work with. I played around with the sphere moulds for a few days before coming down to one conclusion: If the ball shape is perfect, why bothering covering it with anything – wouldn’t we loose the purpose of such mould at once?
A refreshed version of a dessert you’ve seen here before: Fresh organic blueberries blended in a sabayon and poured in the moulds quickly transformed into beautiful parfait glace, which I served with a scorched yuzu meringue, dark malt crumbles and some freeze-dried blueberry powder. Clean Nordic-inspired flavors and perfect spherical shapes combined as a nice dessert.
From time to time, we create spherical desserts using 2 half sphere combined, sometimes made of meringue, sometimes made of chocolate, and somehow resulting as a ball, but it was never easy to create a soft center or trying to minimize the chocolate coating as thin as possible not to kill the taste of the inner dessert. With that new mould, we can create dessert in perfect sphere shape without compromising the taste because of the coating, which is definitely a welcomed innovation!
In a different context, these spherical moulds were logically the perfect match for ice since it can be frozen at -40C. I froze cranberry juice, black coffee, water and tea to later use in drinks. Nothing fancy as it was just a test for the moulds, but I have to say that the result was fairly impressive! :)